Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reading: The Wind Is My Mother by Bear Heart

The Wind Is My Mother is a book that was assigned for me to read in my Intro to Religious Studies class this past semester.  In this class we learned about all different types of belief systems which was a very eye opening experience.  In High School, we were assigned to take World Cultures in our sophomore year and in that class we too focused on learning about all of the different belief systems.  However, this class did not push me to learn.  To be perfectly honest, my teacher was not the friendliest of guys and the class felt like it was forced on me.  As a 16 year old, I couldn't see how learning about Hinduism could better me as a student nor was it ever clear as to why learning about other cultures was important.  All I was told is that learning about other cultures would therefore culture me but I did not feel very knowledgeable or cultured after leaving that class.  In fact, I was glad to be rid of it.  Now that I am 22 and much more aware of who I am as a person and what I believe in, I knew that taking a course similar to the one in High School would benefit me.  Truth be told, this class was nothing like the one in High School.  The class was nothing like the classes I was currently taking or that I had previously taken.  Maybe that is why I got so much out of it. One of the biggest differences between this class and the one I took in High School is that we read a book like this one by Bear Heart. 
First on our list of studies were the Native Americans.  Medicine man Bear Heart writes this book that incorporates much of his personal life experience while also his teachings as a medicine man and what other medicine men have taught him growing up.  The lesson to be learned from all of this?  Well, there are actually quite a bit of lessons that Bear Heart teaches his readers throughout the book including prayers and how to stay in tune with Mother Nature.  But the real lesson of the book is learning how to live a harmonious life in a world that is far from it. 
It is hard to give a basic summary of this book because there isn't much to it.  All the book is is a bunch of tales and lessons to be learned from them.  The novel was simple, much like it's basic message.  Bear Heart goes deep into explaining the ways of his Native American tribe and explains how their traditions can also benefit those who do not identify as Native American.  The book is somewhat of a manual for "living a healthy life in a complex world" - John Gray.  It is a book about finding treasure and health in what God has given us, not money and medicine.  It is a book about learning to love and about learning to incorporate our spiritual lives into our everyday lives.  Bear Heart's tribal wisdom is very practical and simple and has a lot to teach us modern day rush-rush-rush beings. 
This review is kind of late so I already somewhat stated my opinion on this book in a previous blog of mine reflecting on my 50 books of 2012 challenge.  For those who didn't read that, I love this book!  It is a masterpiece and extremely underrated.  If people read books like these more often, the world would be a better place.  It most definitely gets 5 out of 5 stars from me!  I'm so thankful that I took the Intro to Religious Studies class because not only did the class teach me so much, but the teacher got me to read this book. 

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